What Makes an Expert – What is an Expert – Is Education How to Become an Expert
Some occupations, that deal with life and death situations, require a person to have years of training and experience to be considered an expert . Those occupations make up much less of a percentage of jobs you can do than you might realize. Even if you do not feel you know how to become an expert at something now, understanding these six steps can help you become an expert sooner than you think.
Be Passionate – Experts have a Passion for what they do.
We all have goals in our lives, things we want to achieve. Being expert means knowing what it takes to be successful at reaching your goals. Once you have done that people will look to you for advice in the area you had success. If there was a personal goal that was important to you be assured that other people have the same or similar goals in their lives. They come to you because, in their opinion, in that field you know how to become an expert.
You may be approached for help in your area of expertise before you reach you own goal. No one becomes an expert overnight; it’s not a switch that suddenly turns on. It happens in stages as you gain knowledge and, more importantly, experience. When others ask for your assistance it means they are not as experienced in that area as you are. Take that opportunity to be their expert. Take the opportunity to show and teach them what you know. Some times, teaching others is a great way to learn more about a task or subject.
Learning Happens in Several Ways
Books and reading are important to help you get started but can only take you so far. A true expert has real world experience that transcends what some only learn in books. The best route is to combine both the use of reference material, books and the Internet, with real world practice and experience. In summary, book learning and reading are good for a gaining a foundation. It might take longer to achieve the same foundation without the use of books. That does not mean the foundation based on experience is less valuable. Once you are out of school a few years you will meet people that have much less education or book learning than you. You will find they are considered much more expert in that field than you are at that moment.
There is a time for learning and a time for putting that learning into practice. A real expert has a combination of both. Book learning is not the only way to become an expert. Some experts did not have the opportunity for an expensive university education. They may have come back to books after getting on the job experience. Look at people like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg; they have been called to speak as experts at many universities. None of them completed their university education.
Learn how to Focus
Persons who are able to focus and concentrate their efforts become an expert in a shorter period of time. Concentrate on what you’re working on at that point in time. Don’t look too far, or too long, at all the things you feel you need to master to become an expert. To many people you will already be an expert long before you look at yourself as an expert. Keep your focus on the current task and the very next step you expect to take. Do not let a bigger picture of the task ahead cause you to lose focus and lessen your passion. The ability to focus keeps your mind on what’s important now.
Focus is critical for two reasons. First, it helps you pay attention to the task at hand so you don’t become paralyzed by the thought of everything to follow. Second, you have to focus so you can ignore all the possible distractions that are always waiting to pull you off your path.
Start with Small Steps
Start with small steps. Work on accomplishing one thing at a time. Your passion will remain in tact. Be pleased and reward yourself in some simple way for every step you complete. This will keep your passion intense and others will be amazed at that intensity and commitment to what you are doing.
Get Help and Advice When Needed
Real experts have a network of others that have helped them along the way. If you wonder how well you are doing or need help at a difficult point ask others their opinion. This will accomplish at least two things. You will find that often all you needed to solve a problem was to explain it and ask others for help. They may not actually help, because you will come up with the answer on your own.
You could gain valuable experience from someone that already has the answer to your problem. Often you find out, from this outside point of view, that you really have come well along your road on how to become an expert. The saying, “two heads are better than one”, is absolutely true.
Make Mistakes without Concern
In most endeavors one of the best ways to learn is to make mistakes. Do not be afraid of mistakes or even of failure. This is the biggest obstacle you have to overcome on your road learning how to become an expert. Remember how you learned your native language; making mistakes and having family, friends, school mates and teachers correct your mistakes.
The top experts in almost every field have learned a good portion of what makes them experts by making mistakes; even if they will never admit that. What is the point of practice? Practice is a process of making mistakes and learning from them. The sooner you quit worrying about making mistakes the faster you will become an expert.
Accept Challenges with Confidence
As Steve Jobs said; your time is short in life. Face challenges with a strong passion and confidence. Know, believe and have confidence that your ability to focus and learn from your own mistakes makes the best person for what ever opportunity comes your way. A new opportunity in life is your chance to grow and learn; and yes, to make mistakes.